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topic 779e

How to tell artificially aged metal from real


As a Civil war Buff I am interested in finding a way to tell whether an artifact comprised of copper, bronze, silver or lead which has aged is authentic or has been artificially aged and therefore a fake. I would also like any info as to how the counterfeiters do it. Would appreciate any tech info or links to such info. Thank Y'all

John Metz
- Gulfport, Mississippi



I cannot help you, but was wondering whether you ever found the information you were seeking? I have been researching this same issue (War Medals) and have been unsuccessful thus far.


Lisa Reed
- Hackberry, Louisiana


Anyone is welcome to answer and tell me I'm wrong -- and I hope that they do. But as far as I know, the aging process is the same process, whether occurring at natural speed or accelerated speed. I think you can easily tell the real thing from a poor knock-off, but not from a good knock-off.

There are theoretical approaches like carbon dating (if there is wood on the item), but these are probably restricted to studying truly precious artifacts, where cost is not an object.

I'm confident that expert appraisers have their methods, and I suppose they involve study of strike marks, available tools in the Civil War period, esoteric knowledge of special markings, and so on, but that kind of knowledge results from a lifetime of schooling and study, not reading a few internet postings :-)

Good luck, and if you come across a book that covers this subject, please let the readers know. Thanks!

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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